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Prof Wolff discusses the replacement theory's grain of truth amidst its mostly ideological function: to save capitalism from criticism. He analyzes why US capitalists deprived so many white, male, Christian workers of their jobs, incomes, and social standing over recent decades and why that analysis was largely silenced by Cold War taboos since 1945. Were a new US left-labor alliance now to offer that critical-of-capitalism alternative, replacement theory's notion of a great conspiracy (largely by Democrats) to replace white, male, Christians with "others" would be far less socially influential.
Wolff: “They did it for the profits thereby won and that's how they survived because that's how capitalism works. And so why was this story not told? The story was not told because the blame it finds falls on capitalism and capitalists, and at least since the second World War, any argument that blames capitalism for anything is rendered taboo. So the right wing comes along and what does it do? It protects capitalism, which is what the right wing has always done.”
Dr. Fraad looks at the recent dramatic US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. She argues that all of the SCOTUS decisions for 2022 share a common purpose. First, they help to create a capitalist authoritarian state enforced by unaccountable police. Secondly they divide the mass of people. They antagonize divisions between people and fuel culture wars. The goal is to create hierarchical and hostile divisions that keep Americans from uniting as an employee class and winning.
Fraad: “If we look at why Nazi Germany evolved and we look at how America is evolving, we might pick up some cues that they are allowing an authoritarian state and divisions between the masses of people the way Nazi Germany did.”
Prof. Robles-Durán talks to the world-renowned performance artist and activist William Tallen, famously known for his character Reverend Billy, described in a recent National Public Radio article as a Veteran anti-consumerist crusader taking aim at capitalism and climate change. Tallen and Robles-Durán discuss the destruction of NYC’s East River Park, the inseparable connection between art and the environment, the Sixth Extinction, greenwashing, and more.
Tallen: “We used to do concerts up on the fifth floor of Trump Tower because he was stuck with a public garden inside… We used to glorify how that weed will eventually eat [that] skyscraper.”
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "How would inflation, cyclic depression and the other harmful capitalistic economic behavior be avoided in the cooperative model?" This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “We're going to take care of all the participants. All of them have a claim. And a democratic procedure to meet those claims is why we won't have the cycles, the depressions, the inflations, that the other systems suffered from.
A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I would love to hear you talk about degrowth. It's something I've been reading a little about for a few years. I probably (don't remember, exactly) first heard about it from Jason Hickel." This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.
Wolff: “We have to deal with the profit motive, with the capitalist system that rewards those who are profitable no matter what damage they do to the larger society rather than have a society run on a different basis.”
Learn more about [email protected] latest book, Stuck Nation: Can the United States Change Course on Our History of Choosing Profits Over People?
by Bob Hennelly